Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere of Kampala Diocese has encouraged Christians to exert efforts and liberate themselves from poverty if they wish to attain heaven in the afterlife.
Ssemogerere made these remarks during a mass held as part of the priestly golden jubilee and episcopal silver jubilee celebrations for Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, the retired Vatican Ambassador (Apostolic Nuncio).
The event, which drew a large number of devoted followers, took place on Sunday in Mitala Maria, Mpigi district.
The prelate urged Christians to leverage their inherent talents and the gift of life to elevate their circumstances from poverty, underscoring that destitution has no place in heaven.
“God does not welcome the impoverished into heaven. Their entry is prohibited. I will even be positioned at the entrance to block their admission. There is a misconception about the gospel. Being destitute should not be misunderstood as lacking wealth,” Ssemogerere conveyed.
He further added, “God will question why He bestowed you with vision, intelligence, and life, only for you to depart in poverty? Such individuals will face damnation. Our exertion is necessary. We must not indulge in idleness or slumber.”
Emeritus Archbishop Kasujja, a native of Mitala Maria, Mpigi district, holds the distinction of being the very first black African Apostolic Nuncio.
He concluded his active service in 2021 upon reaching the obligatory age of 75.
During his tenure, which spanned approximately 33 years, he was engaged in the diplomatic service of the Vatican.
In his discourse, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bianco recognized Kasujja’s dedication and magnanimity while executing his duties as the Vatican’s representative.
“We applaud you for your extensive, spirited service and your open-hearted commitment as our envoy,” Bianco lauded.
Before retiring, Kasujja had faithfully served in the diplomatic service under the leadership of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.
On October 12, 2016, Pope Francis designated him as Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, subsequently adding the role of Nuncio to Luxembourg on December 7.
He notably became the first non-European to hold the post in Belgium.
His diverse assignments included roles in Argentina, Haiti, Bangladesh, Portugal, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, and Nigeria, among others.